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Early 2016



Another year ended and ...


... luckily another started immediately! As ever top of the list was to find trees to turn into stock that will if cut and stacked correctly eventually sell themselves as they become irresistible to my callers!


One thing you can't have too much of apart from sex is Spalted Beech. Getting either can be tricky but one thing about being an old geezer is that you get to know where to look!


Off to Rob's Yard ...


... where there is always something of interest I trot. After bunging a couple of Apple boards in the back of the truck and some burr Elm we had a nibble at the big Beech in the picture below. The bit missing on the right as you look at it had been milled about a year ago by Rob and although there was a little spalt, it wasn't exciting.


Twelve months of the fungi doing it's thing and the bits Rob is milling are perfect - good sharp lines with varying colour and will be gone before you read this.


The little white bits on the side are sure signs of spalting going on inside.


My dog has got no ...


... dictionary - how does he spell terrible?


I've put my dogging gear on ebay ... no offers but 49 are watching!

Lots of Oak ...


... starring two particularly big boys were felled and sold to me last time by Erwin. These came from a site where some lovely Ash was felled a few years ago and I had my fingers crossed.


These turned out to be well up to Erwin's best and he excelled himself by transporting not only to and from the sawmill but also into the woods and stacked - he certainly earned his Christmas Port! One log has good colour and figure the other just the right amount of pippy figure - pictures on request!


The Gate to the Woods ...


... like the rest of the team was old and slowly falling to bits. Thursday Dave who has given 6 year's skilled help for a few logs offered to make a new one. When he does something it might not be quick but it is always quality.


I thought fitting the new one with just us two would be a struggle but like everything with Dave it was done carefully, safely and enjoyably. The finished result not only looks great but will last a few decades longer than us.


I probably won't be putting prices up this year but we think we might charge an entrance fee to go through the Golden Goulden gate!



The multi talented Thursday Dave making a gate that will last longer than all of us !

Did you hear about the bloke ...


... who found his willy had turned orange and took it to show the doctor? The quack was puzzled and wondered if it was stress related.


Do you have a stressful job he asked ? No was the answer, I used to have a crap one but now earn loads and really enjoy it.


Well it's not that, what about a stressful relationship. Nope I had a horrible old mare but she left a year ago.


Well in that case you must have a stressful social life. No, he replies. "I don't really have a social life I just sit around, watch porn and eat Wotsits".

The Kiln Workshop had become leaky ...


... both roof and security wise. The latter involved loss of chainsaws and was countered with better locks, CCTV and some other stuff that if I told you about I'd have to kill you.


My mate Ant who is mostly now an electrician but can turn his hand to anything is about to build an Oak framed garage so I bartered some Oak beams for fitting the CCTV, extra lighting and a few other improvements.


His mate Ally who is a master with the mortar got the short straw to go up on the roof and rebed the ridge tiles - see below.



It was below freezing when Ally did this job but at least it wasn't raining for a change this winter!

Processing the two Walnut trees ...


... featured in the last blog was like getting anything cut by Mark at Andover Down Sawmill a long job. Over Christmas I twice went there on a promise only to spend four hours each day sorting his yard out - it did look good - but the wood remained in the round.


On the third attempt, I ended up spending four hours in the rain doing a fencing job with him. When we finished that day he said you could lend me a fiver mate I have literally no petrol in my car (he was right the miles in range was flashing 0!) - I'll go to that garage in Hurstbourne.


Ah, in that case I'm fucked ...


.. says Mark when I inform him that the aforementioned garage stopped selling fuel last year and the nearest place was 7 miles away in Andover. Luckily I had some petrol in my chainsaw can & gave him that but it was two stroke and probably smoked a bit !



Eventually I got Mark to cut it and it was worth the agg - good as any I've had

The London Plane aka ...


... Lacewood bought at the end of 2013 is looking good and early nibblers have been coming back for more - trying not to look too keen! This prompted me to go and buy a bit more.


The large Plane log below on top of my latest pile of future stock had a bit of rot. It was a gamble whether it was worth transporting it to Helmdon Sawmill.


Getting it on the lorry was a struggle and it still needed cutting in half with a chainsaw before it could go on the saw.


Next time you'll see that I was very glad I did with some of the finest burr I've ever had.



Chainsawing the big boy above in half is not for the faint hearted - so I delegated the job!

As usual Customers new ...


... and old came along to liberate the good stuff and fill the coffers. It's worth repeating that wood workers are a diverse bunch united in a love of timber. I quite like having a couple at once as they always get on.


I wouldn't normally run a Punter of the Month Comp but a chap called Alistair chose a day for his first visit where an Ash tree had fallen overnight blocking the entrance to the woods. Instead of slowing down my efforts to clear it he said: " I have a chainsaw on board - I'll help!"


After clearing the tree ...


... he had a good ol' delve as everyone does but not only did he work out the costs accurately for me he shared the pricing of several of my competitors - yes of course I'm cheaper! He also took a very good set of pictures which he posted on his site and other social media sites .


If you do click on the link to his site you'll have to scroll down to his article on his visit to me. The longer after I post this the further you will have to go but the pics are worth it.


I'll finish this edition as I started talking about ...


... Spalted Beech. This lot even better than Rob's and found at Mark's yard in Andover Down under a pile of other stuff. The longer you dare to leave a log in the round before it rots away the more spectacular the Spalting - you won't get better than this so come and get it quick!



I think this could be fairly described as quite interesting!


Next time, I'll be talking about our new tea room in the woods and also Steve's new state of the art drying Kilns at Helmdon Sawmill.


Until then, get yer arse over and buy some wood to motivate me to get more in !